Maj. Peter William Garside
Phillips, Obit. The Times "September 16 1998 OBITUARIES MAJOR PETER PHILLIPS Major Peter Phillips, MC, father of Captain Mark Phillips and former father-in-law of the Princess Royal, died on September 12 aged 78. He was born on July 26, 1920. THE lives of Major Peter Phillips and his wife would almost certainly never have entered the public domain had it not been for the connection with the Royal Family which came about through the 1973 marriage of their son, Mark, to Princess Anne. Before the publicity which burst about his ears when the engagement was announced in the summer of 1973, Peter Phillips's ambitions had been relatively modest ones. Descended from several generations of Midlands mining engineers, he had served with credit as a cavalry officer in the Second World War and was afterwards involved in his family's quarrying interests. He was also a meat purchasing director of Walls, the sausage manufacturers, and for some years reared mink. At the time of his son's engagement he bravely asserted that "nothing would change" to alter the retired and uncourtly state in which he and his family lived. He conducted himself throughout with dignity and modesty, but he lived to see his son's marriage to a royal princess break down, to lose his wife through illness at no great age, to suffer losses at Lloyd's, and to experience years of loneliness and poor health. Peter William Garside Phillips was the son of Joseph Herbert Phillips, a mining engineer of Oldbury Grange, Warwickshire, and Dorothea Mary Land, the daughter of a quarry owner. During the Second World War he served with the 1st King's Dragoon Guards with whom he won the Military Cross during the Italian campaign. In 1946 he married Anne Patricia Tiarks. She was the daughter of Brigadier John Gerhard Edward Tiarks, who was subsequently ADC to King George VI from 1947 to 1950, Colonel of the 1st King's Dragoon Guards, and Master of Foxhounds of the Staff College Hounds; he was later killed while hunting. After the war Major Phillips worked for the Walls meat combine, where, as purchasing director he was responsible for the ingredients of its sausages, pork pies, black puddings and other meat products. His family also owned a controlling interest in Jee's Hartshill, a Warwickshire quarrying company near Nuneaton. He was chairman for three years until July 1972 when the quarry was sold to Tarmac Roadstone. He also took a keen interest in the mink farm which his wife ran at their farmhouse at Great Somerford, Wiltshire. Perhaps feeling that these activities was incompatible with the royal connection, the Phillips family relinquished both the mink farm and the Walls directorship within a few years of their son's marriage. Major Phillips had received a large sum for his sale of the family quarrying interests, so no financial hardship was involved. . Thereafter he neither sought nor often made the headlines. But when, on August 31, 1989, what had been suspected for some time was officially announced, namely that Captain Phillips and the Princess Royal had agreed to a legal separation, Peter Phillips again found himself briefly in the limelight. Beyond expressing "great sadness", he refused to be drawn. In July 1988 Major Phillips's wife, Anne, died of kidney failure, after spending several weeks in a coma. She was only 62 and her death affected him deeply. After that, and the separation of his son and daughter-in-law, he lived a somewhat reclusive life at Great Somerton. He briefly made the news columns again in June 1990 when he was banned from driving for two years and fined £60 by Malmesbury magistrates after a conviction for drink-driving. The incident, as it emerged in evidence at the court hearing, tended to emphasise that he led a lonely and somewhat melancholy existence. Losses at Lloyd's of London added to his woes, and his last years were marred by severe ill-health. He suffered a number of strokes and in 1993 had to leave his country house, first for a cottage near his son's farm, and finally for a Gloucestershire nursing home. His son and daughter survive him. Copyright 1998 Times Newspapers Ltd. "